SFR calls for the handover of task-force report to President

A report on challenges facing the maize sub-sector is yet to be made public a year after the task-force constituted to compile it went to work. 

According to the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) board Chairman Noah Wekesa (pictured), for one year, the task-force went round maize-growing regions collecting views from farmers.

It then settled to compile its findings, but even after compiling them, it is yet to table them publicly to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who commissioned it, for action.

Speaking during a farmers' meeting in Eldoret on Thursday, Dr Wekesa, a member of the task-force, said it was time the President was made aware of the findings.

“I was a member of the task-force and we made a lot of recommendations in the report. Yet the recommendations have not reached the President.

"I urge those who are holding it to table it for actions," said Wekesa.

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Uhuru commissioned the report following an outcry from farmers and the general public on the rot in the maize sub-sector.

Addressing the same meeting, Moiben MP Silas Tiren, a member of National Assembly's committee on Agriculture told farmers that Parliament only received the report on Wednesday, months after the task-force concluded its findings.

“Parliament has just received the report from Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. It was only handed to us following complaints by farmers,” said Mr Tiren.

He added that the committee is yet to discuss the report and give suggestions.

He noted that in tackling the myriad of problems in the sub-sector, decision-making should involve all stakeholders including government, farmers, millers and consumers.

Directive welcome

Meanwhile, farmers’ representatives in the county have welcomed the President's directive that the Kenya Farmers’ Association (KFA) be revived.

Kipkorir Menjo, the KFA director for North Rift, said such a move would help farmers to easily access quality inputs for agricultural production.

“KFA members will enjoy economies of scale since the institution will stock inputs procured directly from manufacturers. Quality will also be assured,” said Menjo.

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Strategic Food ReserveNoah Wekesa